Our Leadership 360 is Better
There are many Leadership 360 assessment providers on the market. I don’t want to bash our competitors, so I won’t name names. What I really want to emphasize is that the tool we use, Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders, is different and--I think you will agree--better.
A while ago I reviewed our 360 assessment with one of our clients and she was truly impressed with it. Her organization had been doing a lot of 360 assessments and--although they found the tool useful--they had come to loathe it.
There were three main causes of their disappointment: Difficulty with some of the questions, the length of time to complete and then, finally, difficulty in gleaning useful information from the results.
The Assessment Questions
The example my client cited (and has repeated since) that best illustrated her frustration with the assessment questions was this: "What percentage of the time would you say this leader is ethical?" I’m paraphrasing here, but that question was followed by, "What percentage of the time do you think this leader should be ethical?"
Seriously? Doesn't that strike you as an weird question? My client certainly thought so. Beyond the oddness of that particular question, all of the questions on that survey were based on rating “percentages”.
Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders Questions
When respondents are rating a leader, they answer a set of questions about how often a leader engages in certain leadership behaviors. These questions are on a five point scale: Never or Almost Never, Rarely, About as Often as Not, Sometimes and Always or Almost Always. Raters find these questions easy to answer and rating the leader takes, on average, 15-20 minutes.
Leaders complete two sets of questions, both of which use the five point scale. The first set is used to establish basic behavioral tendencies of the respondent. These questions are adaptive, meaning the questions asked are based on the answers to previous questions. These questions pinpoint the respondent’s characteristics precisely without having to ask every single question in the set. The second set of questions mirror the leadership questions that the rater completed.
Advantage, 363 for Leaders: Easier to answer.
The Time Commitment
But perhaps more importantly, my client also said that having every question in the form of "what percentage" increased the amount of time and pain required to complete the assessment.
It typically required respondents about an hour to rate a leader. That's a large portion of an 8 hour day, but because this organization was doing a lot of 360s, it wasn't uncommon for one person to be asked to rate 4 or more people at a time. Imagine the employee morale when an employee opens their email to find half their day spoken for!
Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders Time Requirements
As mentioned before, rater typically takes 15-20 minutes to complete a survey. Conceivably, four assessments could be done in roughly the same amount of time that other 360 required for one, single survey. A productivity increase on that scale is hard to come by.
The leader themselves has two sets of questions to answer. Most leaders finish both sets of questions in about 20-30 minutes.
Advantage, 363 for Leaders: Far less resource intensive
The Leader’s Report
This is the important part: the resuts. This is what you "get", what you pay for. And most of the 360 Reports I have seen are ... dry. As a self-admitted “data geek”, I love digging into spreadsheets and charts to find the tiniest clues as to what it all means. But I also have to admit to rarely having that kind of time and even if I did, there are better things to do with that time.
My client's 360 and another 360 whose sample report I reviewed recently were loaded with information. Both provided an overview of the results, which in both cases was helpful, though lengthy. One of reports was essentially a formatted listing of the results. The other had quite a bit of narrative based on good or bad scores in each dimension, but it was not otherwise customized to the leader. The report mixed in some book references for the leader to gain insight on how to improve—assuming the leader has time to read the referenced books. Oh, and I should add that this assessment clocked in at 83 pages!
Astonishingly, however, neither of these other 360s provided specific, actionable suggestions as to what the subject should work on or do differently to be a better leader. Which seems odd because, well, isn't that why we do these things??
363 for Leaders Report
The respondent’s 363 for Leaders report has a narrative which clearly explains the results. As with most multi-rater assessments, it is best to have a facilitator or coach spend time with the subject and walk them through the report. But if the funding isn’t there or the leader refuses coaching, it is possible to do without follow-up.
Also, you've probably noticed by now that the 360 we use is actually a "363". So it’s “three more”. That has to be better, right? The extra "3" signifies that the report supplies three actionable strategies leader can use to improve his or her leadership abilities.
The three areas chosen are based on the lowest-scoring dimensions, as you might guess. The feedback, however, is highly personalized to the leader. This is possible because of the behavioral data collected in that first set of questions. In essence, the report can leverage what is known about the leader’s default tendencies in combination with leadership challenge areas and then suggest relevant, individualized strategies for improvement.
This feature alone sets the product apart from most of its competitors.
Advantage, 363 for Leaders: Personalized strategies for improvement
Additional 363 for Leaders Advantages
Already you can see that this Leadership 360 is different. And we're just getting started! There are several more advantages when comparing to other, similar instruments.
One glaring problem with most 360 assessments is open-ended. When raters have the ability to comment freely (and anonymously), sometimes the feedback isn't very clear or helpful. And sometimes it's harmful, mean or offensive--none of which has a place in training and development.
363 for Leaders alleviates this issue with “CommentSmart”. Raters choose comments from a set of pre-defined responses. Not only does this eliminate harmful and useless messages, it allows comments to be quantifiable, measurable. When several respondents select the same comment as feedback, there is weight behind the words. Finally, it streamlines the reporting of comments, making the final report compact and powerful. That 83-page competitor report used 13 pages to just to display free-form comments.
Full Color Report
I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the 363 report is laid out in full color. It's pleasant to view and engaging. It may even encourage leaders to spend more time reviewing the material. And it looks great on an iPad or other tablet!
363 for Leaders also includes a Coaching Supplement at no extra cost. This is a great add-on for facilitators and coaches. It provides some additional insight as to how the subject's DiSC style influences their leadership style. The supplement could also be used by individuals that have some background in this type of assessment, as my client did.
Ease of deployment
There can be a lot of overhead associated with rolling out a 360 assessment. With 363 for Leaders, the process is very simple. First, a basic spreadsheet is created listing the raters' name, email address and relationship to the subject of the assessment (manager, peer, direct report, other). This spreadsheet is loaded into the administration system and each rater receives an email with the link to the assessment. That's pretty much it. A reminder can be sent automatically to those who lag in completing the assessment.
Once all of the assessments are in, the report is generated, with the optional Coaching Supplement, if desired. The report and can be sent immediately to the subject in PDF form or saved and printed out for later delivery.
Re-Use the Data!
363 for Leaders is part of the Everything DiSC series of assessments which includes self-rated (i.e., non-360) profiles for Sales, Management, Workplace and Leadership. Once a person has completed any of these profiles, the data can be re-used to generate the other reports by answering a few specific questions for that other assessment.
So once the leader has taken the 363 for Leaders assessment, the Everything DiSC Management assessment is just a few questions away and the leader can start to work on improving their management skills. What is it worth to save time for our busiest leaders and yet still be able to provide them with additional opportunities for growth?
Report on a Group
Suppose a group of leaders have taken an assessment. Wouldn’t it be great to see a snapshot of the behavioral characteristics of the group? With the Everything DiSC series, there is a Group Culture report that gives insight into any group of people that have taken any of the Everything DiSC assessments.
The Everything DiSC Comparison Report can compare any two people that have taken any of the Everything DiSC assessments. The report is generated A-to-B and also B-to-A so each person gains insight into how the other person operates. This report also provides strategies on how to adapt to make interactions with that person go more smoothly. And the best thing about the Comparison Report is that it is free!
With just two 363 for Leaders reports, DiSC Training Hub will waive the cost of an administration account. With the account, you get complete control of the assessments and the process. Re-brand the reports with your company name and logo, remove sections of the report, generate group and comparison reports, add raters, remove raters and do all of this on your own without having to submit a request and wait for someone to take care of it.
The administration tool, called EPIC (Electronic Profile Information Center) is easy to use and very powerful.
363 for Leaders is Cost-Competitive
I haven’t found a solid, research-based 360 assessment that is also inexpensive. Based on all the benefits I’ve laid out, it would be reasonable for this product to be at the high end of the spectrum. But it’s not. At DiSC Training Hub, we offer this amazing tool starting at around $150 per leader, regardless of the number of raters. But that’s the price for a single assessment. Quantity breaks start at just three (saving about $10 each) and with larger quantities it is possible to get the price down below $125.
So what are you waiting for? Get a pain-free, low effort, inexpensive, effective Leadership 360 today!